JASON HEWITT believes the arrival of fresh faces has come at just the right time for Hull Pirates.
Import forward David Norris has already made a big impact, contributing one goal and four assists in his first two games with the Pirates in the split weekend they shared with Peterborough Phantoms last time out.
And Hewitt is hoping for a similarly positive impact from former Coventry Blaze defenceman Steven Chalmers, who arrived earlier this week after spending the past couple of years playing and coaching in Sweden.
This weekend sees the Pirates faced with just the one fixture, with second-placed Telford Tigers visiting East Yorkshire fresh from a 5-3 win on home ice against Leeds Chiefs.
On Calgary-born Norris, who spent last season in the Elite League with Milton Keynes Lightning, Hewitt said: “David has been exactly what we needed.
“When we found out he was available we moved pretty quickly and him having that previous UK experience - not at this level - was something that really stood out for me.
“He’s come in and has made an impact and is noticeable which is what you want from your imports, so it’s a good signing.”
The arrival of Chalmers will help ease the burden on the team’s D-core, who have been forced to log up extra minutes in the long-term absence of injured Jamie Chilcott.
“I played against him a few years ago for a couple of seasons and hopefully he’s going to be the same, composed defenceman who can make a play,” Hewitt added.
“We have been short back there, having Chilcott out for the last eight weeks or so and some of those guys in defence have been logging big minutes.
“We’ve been looking to take the pressure off them a little bit so, hopefully, Steven can do that. We have had five defenceman still, but Jamie logs big minutes for us so your experienced guys have to eat those up and they’ve been bumped and battered for the last six weeks or so, so it will be good to give them a little bit of respite.”
The only previous meeting with Telford saw the Pirates edged out 6-5 in Shropshire on October 6.
But the new faces, plus the availability of forward Bobby Chamberlain who was missing for that encounter, gives Hewitt confidence going into the latest meeting between the two.
“In the game down there, we played pretty solid and limited their chances,” said Hewitt. “In the end, it was their special teams, particularly their power play that won them the game.
“They have been going well and grinding out results, but we’ve got some different bodies in the line-up to what we had then and with changing our import it is going to be a very different team we’ll be going into the game with.
“But they are where they are because they are a good team.”